The term Meaningful Use is a term used in the healthcare industry since 2009. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) announced on July 13, 2010, the final ruling for Meaningful Use, an EHR Incentive Program based upon Stages. Stage 1 of this adopted rule is focused on health care professionals using certified EHR technology to improve health outcomes in the following areas:
• Improve the quality of care, and
• Improve the safety in treating patients
• Reduce health disparities
• Engage patients and families
• Improve care coordination
• Improve population and public health
• Guarantee Privacy and Security of ePHI (electronic Protected Health Information) through HIPAA.
Meaningful Use sets the foundation for healthcare providers using EHR technology. The rule serves as a launch point for building a healthcare network across the United States. There have been future rulings to define the requirements for Stage 2 (est. 2013) and with further clarification on Stage 3 to come in 2015.
During Stage 1, eligible healthcare professionals are required to meet 15 core objectives, and 5 out of 10 menu set objectives. With each objective, there is a threshold or measure that defines the minimum usage for each objective. With each stage of meaningful use, these thresholds will increase in addition to new objectives. Beginning with Stage 2 of meaningful use, the menu set objectives will all become core objectives, thus it is important to plan full adoption of these objectives as time progresses.
The inclusion of HIPAA Privacy and Security compliance further demonstrates the dedication HHS and CMS have towards Healthcare Organizations complying with the HIPAA rule.
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